By Michael Ash, BSc(Hons). DO. ND. FellowDipION Vitamin D and Vitamin A are essential co-partners in immunological and bone health., I’m particularly excited about vitamin A because of its profound effects on the gut mucosal immune system—a specialty of mine. Just as vitamin D has attracted attention for its ability to increase antimicrobial peptides and [...]... Read more »
Dong P, Tao Y, Yang Y, & Wang W. (2010) Expression of retinoic acid receptors in intestinal mucosa and the effect of vitamin A on mucosal immunity. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 26(7-8), 740-5. PMID: 19932006
Iwata, M., Hirakiyama, A., Eshima, Y., Kagechika, H., Kato, C., & Song, S. (2004) Retinoic Acid Imprints Gut-Homing Specificity on T Cells. Immunity, 21(4), 527-538. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2004.08.011
You’ve all heard it takes two to tango. And it certainly takes two (or more) to argue. And now, apparently it really does take two to have a conversation. Stephens et al. “Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication” PNAS, 2010. We know that real verbal communications requires both a speaker and a listener (often they [...]... Read more »
Stephens GJ, Silbert LJ, & Hasson U. (2010) Speaker-listener neural coupling underlies successful communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(32), 14425-30. PMID: 20660768
The newest issue of CICINDELA (“A quarterly journal devoted to Cicindelidae”) contains an interesting article by my good friend and fellow tiger beetle enthusiast Kent Fothergill, who presents a fascinating sequence of photos documenting a field encounter with a mating pair of the endangered Bruneau Sand Dune tiger beetle (Cicindela waynei) (Fothergill 2010). This is one of [...]... Read more »
Fothergill, K. (2010) Observations on mating behavior of the Bruneau Dune tiger beetle, Cicindela waynei Leffler (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Cicindelinae). CICINDELA, 42(2), 33-45. info:/
I’ve recently been discussing stable isotope analysis as a way to directly determine dietary practices from skeletal evidence, and that is certainly a powerful tool in learning about past societies, but there are some drawbacks to it. Like all complicated laboratory procedures, it’s expensive, and it has the additional problem of being destructive. If it’s [...]... Read more »
Schollmeyer, K., & II, C. (2004) Dental Caries, Prehistoric Diet, and the Pithouse-to-Pueblo Transition in Southwestern Colorado. American Antiquity, 69(3), 569. DOI: 10.2307/4128407
Causing quite a big stir in the astrochemical world recently is the astronomical detection of C60, more popularly known as fullerene. This is kind of a big deal. Fullerenes have been known about since the 1980s when Harry Kroto et al first created them by vapourising graphite with electrical discharges. Since then, it’s been found that C60 molecules are very stable and readily formed molecules. Lots of people have hypothesised them existing in space, but up until now there’s been no ........ Read more »
Cami, J., Bernard-Salas, J., Peeters, E., & Malek, S. (2010) Detection of C60 and C70 in a Young Planetary Nebula. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1192035
Toronto team Rizo et al offer a novel approach to psychopharmacology: trawling the internet for people's opinions. It's a rapid, web-based method for obtaining patient views on effects and side-effects of antidepressants.They designed a script to Google the names of several antidepressants in the context of someone who's taking them, and checks to see if they describe any side-effects.A large number of URLs were rapidly screened through Google Search™, using one server situated in Ohio, USA. T........ Read more »
Rizo C, Deshpande A, Ing A, & Seeman N. (2010) A rapid, Web-based method for obtaining patient views on effects and side-effects of antidepressants. Journal of affective disorders. PMID: 20705344
I while ago I wrote a post about how virus's get from the outside of the cell to the interior of the nucleus and found that virus particles are able to hitchhike on the cells internal transport systems. I was quite interested therefore to find a paper in Nature Reviews (reference below) that revealed that not only do virus's latch on to host proteins to travel around inside the cell, they also use host extracellular processes for travelling around the body. And outside the cell it's not just vir........ Read more »
Salinas S, Schiavo G, & Kremer EJ. (2010) A hitchhiker's guide to the nervous system: the complex journey of viruses and toxins. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 8(9), 645-55. PMID: 20706281
As if on cue, given that I’ve been talking about turkey husbandry and stable isotope testing of human remains, a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science combines the two, using similar stable isotope techniques on turkey remains from sites in southwestern Colorado to determine what the turkeys were eating. The [...]... Read more »
Rawlings, T., & Driver, J. (2010) Paleodiet of domestic turkey, Shields Pueblo (5MT3807), Colorado: isotopic analysis and its implications for care of a household domesticate. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37(10), 2433-2441. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.05.004
It seems to have become received wisdom recently that New Zealand must pick winners with its public science investment. In this post, I argue that this is not new: we picked our winners a long time ago, with a strong focus on agricultural and environmental sciences. So what are the pros and cons of backing [...]... Read more »
McCann, P. (2009) Economic geography, globalisation and New Zealand's productivity paradox. New Zealand Economic Papers, 43(3), 279-314. DOI: 10.1080/00779950903308794
Johnson, R., Razzak, W., & Stillman, S. (2007) Has New Zealand benefited from its investments in research . Applied Economics, 39(19), 2425-2440. DOI: 10.1080/00036840600707308
If there is one finding that has remained pretty solid over the past 10 – 15 years, it’s the one that says being active is a good thing for managing chronic pain. I’m not sure how many papers I’ve read where ‘exercise’ and some form of cognitive behavioural approach have been found to produce improvements … Read more... Read more »
Pengel LH, Refshauge KM, Maher CG, Nicholas MK, Herbert RD, & McNair P. (2007) Physiotherapist-directed exercise, advice, or both for subacute low back pain: a randomized trial. Annals of internal medicine, 146(11), 787-96. PMID: 17548410
Here's a conundrum for you. In the USA, religious couples report higher satisfaction with their relationship. African-American couples are more religious than white couples. Yet African-American couples report lower relationship satisfaction than White couples. What's going on here?
The answer, according to a recent analysis of the National Survey of Religion and Family Life (NSRFL), is that African-Americans would have even worse relationships if it weren't for their religion.
The graphic........ Read more »
Ellison, C., Burdette, A., & Bradford Wilcox, W. (2010) The Couple That Prays Together: Race and Ethnicity, Religion, and Relationship Quality Among Working-Age Adults. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(4), 963-975. DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00742.x
Is science "unimportant" to your life? Really? Eugene Kolker (Seattle Children's Research Institute, United States) and coworkers have shown that science and engineering research, critical for the advancement of human civilization, has recently been dominated by the United States, but faces increasing competition from the European Union and China. This news feature was written on August 17, 2010.... Read more »
Hather, G. J., Haynes, W., Higdon, R., Kolker, N., Stewart, E. A., Arzberger, P., Chain, P., Field, D., Franza, B. R., Lin, B.... (2010) The United States of America and Scientific Research. PLoS ONE, 5(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012203
Do higher taxes change behavior? Generally speaking, yes. The laws of economics are pretty strict about this stuff: raise the price of booze, butts or junk food, and without even thinking about, we–that is, homo oeconomicus–cut back. But for public health law, the research question has to be: do we really get any healthier?... Read more »
Maldonado-Molina, M., & Wagenaar, A. (2010) Effects of Alcohol Taxes on Alcohol-Related Mortality in Florida: Time-Series Analyses From 1969 to 2004. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01280.x
When we think of ourselves as being morally good or morally bad, what goes on in our brains? What moral memories does our mind gather to affirm that we are one or the other, and how are these memories influenced by cognitive biases?In some ways, we are already aware of some cognitive biases in the way we remember events. For example, we know of an "emotional bias" where emotional memories are remembered more vividly, are typically easier to retrieve and seem more familiar, even when the actual ........ Read more »
Escobedo, J., & Adolphs, R. (2010) Becoming a better person: Temporal remoteness biases autobiographical memories for moral events. Emotion, 10(4), 511-518. DOI: 10.1037/a0018723
Just over ten years ago, Robert May published an article considering "the most important unanswered questions in ecology" (May 1999). This perspective piece offered some direction to a young field that was expanding rapidly. But, where is ecology going in the next thirty years (or so)?... Read more »
Since becoming a parent, sleep has become a major issue in my life. Probably like many of you other parents out there, I was somewhat unprepared for months of interrupted sleep and how this would affect my overall well-being. Once my son was born, I began reading everything I could get my hands on about infant/childhood sleep in an effort to understand how to get my son to sleep better. This was not only a selfish endeavor, of course, as I knew he needed good sleep and it obviously made him feel........ Read more »
Teti, D., Kim, B., Mayer, G., & Countermine, M. (2010) Maternal emotional availability at bedtime predicts infant sleep quality. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(3), 307-315. DOI: 10.1037/a0019306
In 1991, paleontologist David Gillette announced that he had found the largest of the enormous sauropod dinosaurs. He called it Seismosaurus halli, and based on the parts of the skeleton that had been prepared at the time, Gillette believed Seismosaurus to be between 127 and 170 feet long! Even giants such as Diplodocus would have [...]... Read more »
David D. Gillette. (1991) Seismosaurus halli, gen. et sp. nov., A New Sauropod Dinosaur from the Morrison Formation (Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceuos) of New Mexico, USA. Journal of Verterbrate Paleontology, 11(4), 417-433. info:/
This post considering the evolutionary origins of numerical cognition, specifically in terms of the approximation of large numbers, is meant as a companion to this week's series on the developmental origins of numerical cognition and developmental dyscalculia, at Child's Play.
What are the origins of number representation in the mind? Are there any innate building blocks that contribute to our understanding of mathematics and number, or must everything be learned?
Number is an important domain........ Read more »
Barth H, Kanwisher N, & Spelke E. (2003) The construction of large number representations in adults. Cognition, 86(3), 201-21. PMID: 12485738
Lipton JS, & Spelke ES. (2003) Origins of number sense. Large-number discrimination in human infants. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 14(5), 396-401. PMID: 12930467
Mechner F. (1958) Probability Relations within Response Sequences under Ratio Reinforcement. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior, 1(2), 109-21. PMID: 16811206
Hauser, M., Tsao, F., Garcia, P., & Spelke, E. (2003) Evolutionary foundations of number: spontaneous representation of numerical magnitudes by cotton-top tamarins. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270(1523), 1441-1446. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2414
So. I have been reading about mutational bias primarily through the work of Arlin Stoltzfus and it’s been a bit difficult to decipher so far. For some reason I cannot find a source that provides a good explanation of how the different biases work and the relevant research. If anyone can recommend a source (a [...]... Read more »
Stoltzfus, A. (1999) On the Possibility of Constructive Neutral Evolution. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 49(2), 169-181. DOI: 10.1007/PL00006540
Stoltzfus A, & Yampolsky LY. (2009) Climbing mount probable: mutation as a cause of nonrandomness in evolution. The Journal of heredity, 100(5), 637-47. PMID: 19625453
Nearly everyone has heard of developmental dyslexia – a learning disorder characterized by poor reading skills despite otherwise sufficient schooling – but have you heard of developmental dyscalculia? Many people have not. Here is part 2 in a week-long series on this lesser-known learning disorder. (See part one, and a companion post on comparative numerical [...]... Read more »
Shalev, R., Manor, O., Kerem, B., Ayali, M., Badichi, N., Friedlander, Y., & Gross-Tsur, V. (2001) Developmental Dyscalculia Is a Familial Learning Disability. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 34(1), 59-65. DOI: 10.1177/002221940103400105
Shalev, R., Auerbach, J., Manor, O., & Gross-Tsur, V. (2000) Developmental dyscalculia: prevalence and prognosis. European Child , 9(S2). DOI: 10.1007/s007870070009
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